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If your employees work outdoors and are constantly moving from one job site to another, it can be difficult to keep track of their hours. You want to make sure you're only paying for actual hours worked, but you can't lug a traditional time and attendance system to the job site.
Portable time and attendance systems are designed specifically for use at outdoor job sites. They're small and easy to transport, and they're meant to be secured at a location on a temporary or semi-permanent basis. They're rugged enough to survive the elements, holding up even in rain or snow.
Portable time and attendance systems help control labor costs by keeping an exact tally of hours worked and preventing employees from guessing or rounding up.
About Portable Time and Attendance Systems
A portable time and attendance system consists of both hardware and software. The hardware is the portable time clock, while the software gathers all of your attendance records in one place to make payroll a snap. The portable time clock is usually attached to a padlock device that is secured to a fixed structure on the job site.
With a portable time and attendance system, employees clock in when they arrive at the job site, usually with individual key FOBs. At the end of the day or before a break, they use the key FOBs to clock out. A single clock can track the hours of your entire site crew, although you'll need to purchase separate key FOBs for employee. If you'd rather not deal with assigning key FOBs to each employee, you can also select a biometric time clock that identifies employees based on their fingerprints or facial features. But plan on spending a little extra.
The software keeps track of all your employee hours and allows you to create reports analyzing staffing levels and labor costs. That information can be exported to your company's computer system. Some portable time and attendance systems also have GPS technology that allows supervisors to verify an employee's location. Others are equipped with Bluetooth technology that allows supervisors to check time and attendance records in real time using their smartphones.
Portable Time and Attendance System Average Costs
Portable time and attendance systems begin at around $600 to $1,000 for a basic starter pack that includes one time clock, software and key FOBs for 5 to 10 employees.
- The TimePilot Extreme Starter Kit comes with 10 key FOBs and retails for about $650 to $1,000. Additional clocks will run you $350 to $500 for each and additional key. (FOBs are sold in sets of 10 for $60 to $100.
- The ExakTime JobClock Starter Pack average cost is $1,000 to $1,300. It includes key FOBs for up to five employees, a portable clock, software and six months of customer support.
If you have multiple work sites or a significantly larger staff, plan on spending more. For example, if you have three job sites with a total of 75 employees, the total cost of a portable time and attendance system will run anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. That does not include features like GPS and Bluetooth technology, which will add to the total cost.
Keep in mind that your portable time and attendance system is likely to pay for itself in the long run. You'll save money in labor costs by preventing employees from adding a few minutes here and there to their time cards. Those few minutes quickly add up to thousands in unearned wages.